Joba and the Yankees’ playoff choices

Yanks walk off with 3-2 win
Not a peep out of Hank

ALDSLogo138x115 A mea culpa: Yesterday afternoon, I mocked Jon Heyman for posting a note on Twitter concerning Joba Chamberlain. With little context, Heyman said that the Yanks could have a bullpen of both Joba and Phil Hughes for the playoffs, and I called that statement an unfounded one. I was wrong.

Because the team with the best record in the league can pick which Division Series schedule to play, the Yankees, nursing a 6.5-game lead in that race over the Angels, will probably get the luxury of that choice. Joba Chamberlain, of course, will play into it.

The Yankees’ choice comes down to one of days off. Take a look at the Division Series schedules. If the Yanks opt for the A series, they play five games in eight days and could bring back their games 1 and 2 starters in games 4 and 5. If they opt for the B series, they play five games in seven days and would either bring back their game 1 starter on three days’ rest or use a fourth starter.

At this point in the season, with his recent spate of poor pitching, Joba Chamberlain is nominally the fourth starter. That designation though is still very much up in the air and with 22 games left in the season, Chad Gaudin could potentially claim that spot or Joba could pitch his way out of it. If that is our playoff reality, then the Yankees would probably go with a three-man rotation and the A series. As an added bonus, Joba, facing an innings limit, would earn some extra rest with the A series.

If Joba can reemerge as the top flight starter we know he can be, it would behoove the Yankees to pick the B series. They wouldn’t need to burn their top two starters at the back end of the first round of the playoffs, and they would have a depth advantage over their potential opponents. Lights-out Joba as the fourth starter is nearly unparalleled throughout the rest of baseball.

The opponents, of course, matter. If the season were to end today, the Yankees would draw the Detroit Tigers in the first round. Giving them the A series would result in tougher pitching match-ups for the Yankees. They would have to face Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson in four of the five potential Division Series match-ups. If the Yanks draw the Tigers and choose the B series, the Tigers would have to throw Rick Porcello and Jarrod Washburn. Choices, choices, choices.

For his part, as Tyler Kepner reported, Joe Girardi is staying a bit mum. “There are two different division series,” the Yanks’ manager said. “In one, you need three starters, and in one you need four. I’ll just leave it at that.”

I’ll leave at this: It will come down to Joba. If he pitches well, the Yanks will want him in their rotation. If he doesn’t, they can avoid the question for a round and figure out how best to deploy him from the bullpen, if they are to use him in the Division Series at all. On the verge of October, it remains all about Joba.

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Yanks walk off with 3-2 win
Not a peep out of Hank
  • Doug

    “If Joba can reemerge as the top flight starter we know he can be, it would behoove the Yankees to pick the A series.”

    Ben, you mean “B” series, right?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Indeed I did. Corrected that. Thanks for the heads up.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Damn, too slow.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “If Joba can reemerge as the top flight starter we know he can be, it would behoove the Yankees to pick the A series. They wouldn’t need to burn their top two starters at the back end of the first round of the playoffs, and they would have a depth advantage over their potential opponents. Lights-out Joba as the fourth starter is nearly unparalleled throughout the rest of baseball.”

    I think you mean to say “B series” in that paragraph.

    If Joba is showing signs of being a good starting pitcher able to go into the 6th and 7th by year’s end, we pick the B series (5 games in 7 days) that has fewer off days and thus requires either a 4th starter or short rest. If Joba looks like he’s only a bullpen guy, we put him in the pen and pick the A series and bring back CC for Game 4 with a 3-man rotation on normal rest.

    Copy?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Copy?

      Roger.

      What’s your vector, Victor?

      • Makavelli

        We got your clearance, Clarence…

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Billy, do you like gladiator movies?

          • jsbrendog

            i hope this hasn’t turned your life upside down face.

          • Makavelli

            Striker, listen, and you listen close. Flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle…it’s just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

            • Scooter

              Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Yup. Noted and corrected.

      I think this decision goes beyond Joba though. I’d rather see Washburn draw a start as well, and I think the Yankees would too. They’re look at their opponent and determine who they’d want to face too.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Exactly.

        Whether it’s Washburn/Porcello for the Tigers, Kazmir/Saunders for the Angels, Buchholz/Byrd/Tazawa/Wakefield for the Sox, or Holland/McCarthy for the Rangers, we would LOVE to have a Game 4 teeing off against those inferior pitchers.

        Nevermind “Lights-Out” Joba… even just “Solidly Decent” Joba is a matchup advantage. I’ll take 5 IP, 3 R Joba + our bullpen versus the Tigers/Angels/Sox/Rangers offense against our offense versus those above pitchers.

        • Makavelli

          If Buccholz pitches like he did last night…Boston just got a little scarier.

          Let’s just hope something is, in fact, wrong with Beckett and he’s just as mediocre as he was last year in the playoffs…

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            Buchholz had a good start against the rather patheitc Orioles. I’d hardly call him a force. He’s young and with a good arm, and he’s shown the same problems with consistency and the strike zone that Joba has.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Side note, but an important one:

    We still should be stretching Joba out. I don’t want the availability of the A series and the fact that it doesn’t need a 4th starter causing the team to abandon the Joba as a starter idea and just leaving him in the pen for the rest of the year.

    Because even if the ALDS that we play in doesn’t need a 4th starter, the ALCS and WS most definitely will.

    Get Joba ready to start in the playoffs, even if he doesn’t end up starting in the playoffs. We need the flexibility.

    • Makavelli

      Agreed.

      Crap-shoot Joba > Sergio Mitre/Chad Gaudin

      …in the ALCS and World Series

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        No, he’s most likely better than them all the time, not just in the ALCS/WS.

        • Makavelli

          Again, you’re reading too much into it. I only added “…in the ALCS and World Series” because he talked about the ALCS and World Series. We wouldn’t really need him to start in the ALDS. I know it looked as though I were implying the others were better the rest of the time but I’m not that ridiculous. Give me at least a little credit here haha

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Old Woman: Nervous?
          Stryker: Yeah.
          Old Woman: First time?
          Stryker: No, I’ve been nervous lots of times.

  • Makavelli

    I actually get My9 for whatever reason (don’t get YES although MLB thinks I do so everything gets blacked out…mlb package, ESPN, TBS, MLB Network, etc…but that’s besides the point – just venting.)

    Anyway, Flaherty was on last night and they were making comparisons between Joba and Price…as Tampa had the option to make Price their closer…yada yada yada…

    So Flaherty put in his 2 cents and said that he always viewed Joba as a reliever because he was a dominant one…where he’s not quite a dominant starter…as he is very good for a certain amount of innings but is far more wild and gets worse as the innings go on.

    Small sample size perhaps accompanied by “Joba Rules” that frustrate everyone including Joba himself…among other things that could contribute to all of this.

    • jsbrendog

      i loved how for about 2 full batters in the 5th or 6th inning there was 100% dead air andneither kay nor flaherty said anything…i was screaming at my tv like, are you kidding me??

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Eh, I don’t mind it when the announcers shut up sometimes. I wish Morgan, Miller, and Phillips would take a hint–or at least call the game more instead of going off on random tangents that don’t make much sense.

        • jsbrendog

          yeah but for 2/3 of an inning? just dead air? completely?

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            If it was Kenny and Coney, I’d be upset. However, when it’s Mikey and Flash, I’d prefer they be quiet.

            • jsbrendog

              touche. well said.

              my friend loves kenny’s voice so much he wants to have a ken singleton alarm clock

              “good morning, i’m ken singleton and it is 7:15 am. Time to get up for work”

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                A voice that could make a wolverine purr.

              • whozat

                But how do wolverines feel about it?

                • jsbrendog

                  well hugh jackman is a huge ken singleton fan…say he voice smoove like buttah

          • whozat

            During a spring training game this year, they had problems with the announcer feed, so it was just the crowd mics for an inning or so.

            It was so good. The people, the pop of the mitt, the crack of the bat, the ump calling strikes…wonderful.

            • toad

              As something of an old guy around here let me add that this is one of the joys of listening to a game on radio. When the announcers are silent you hear all that, including the beer vendors, etc. and in some ways your imagination makes you feel more like you’re at the game than if you were watching it on TV. This is even more the case if you’re driving at night, picking up the broadcast intermittently.

              I’m sure McLuhan has something to say about that, but I don’t know what it is.

              • jsbrendog

                you’re not old, just seasoned

              • The Lodge

                Silent Sixth on SNY. They do this no-commentating intentionally for an inning of Mets Games.

                Is this a reason to watch that team? Does the crowd still make any noise? If a tree falls in the woods can Kieth Hernandez hear it?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I always assumed it was a moment of mourning.

                • The Lodge

                  Mourning the loss of the Mets’ Collective Hamstring.

              • Brian

                Yeah, but when you listen to a game on radio, you have to deal with John and Suzyn. As big of a Yanks’ fan as I am, I’d rather watch the Mets than listen to those 2.

        • Makavelli

          Or “lying” as Morgan has done a bunch of times lol

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      What also contributes to it is Flaherty’s lack of understanding that during the regular season, a not-quite-dominant-but-still-good-starter is more valuable than a dominant reliever.

    • whozat

      “as he is very good for a certain amount of innings but is far more wild and gets worse as the innings go on.”

      Except that’s just not true…there are plenty of times where he labors early and then gets locked in later. He just loses his command sometimes and has no idea how to get it back. Sometimes he comes out with it and keeps it all game. Sometimes he finds it. But I don’t think he knows HOW to find it, it just falls into place some days. Until he figures out how to pitch on off-days, and how to right the ship when it starts to falter, he’ll struggle. Just like every other young pitcher ever.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Fun fact of the day:

      John Flaherty played for the Boston Red Sox (92-93), Detroit Tigers (94-96), San Diego Padres (96-97), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (98-02), and New York Yankees (03-05).

      He played on teams that had some very excellent closers (Jeff Russell, Trevor Hoffman, Roberto Hernandez, Mariano Rivera), but all those teams, with the possible exception of the 2003 Yankees, lacked a key ingredient that likely was the proximate cause for Flaherty’s career ending up ringless:

      Quality young starting pitchers to shore up the back end of the rotation and blossom into future front-end starters.

      • Dave M

        They also lacked a good back up catcher :-) LOL

        • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

          Sal Fasano was way cooler than Flash

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I love you, Johnnycakes.

  • alex gonzalez

    This would be my dream come true. having both Joba and Phil in the bullpen would be awesome. my only hope is that Joba hasn’t been ruined and can still pitch well as a reliever. the thought of a six inning game is awesome, hopefully someone like AJ doesn’t screw it up.

    • jsbrendog

      you need better dreams.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        TCWA

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      If we move CC to the pen for the playoffs, we could have five-inning games too. It’d be great.

      • jsbrendog

        then aj can start and JoMo can catch him and when aj comes out posada can go catch the next pitcher!!!1!11

      • alex gonzalez

        Has CC proven that he can be an unbelievably good starter? yes. has Phil or Joba proven that in the rotation? no. it only makes sense for people who haven’t proven themselves.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          So what you’re saying is that pitchers who haven’t “proven” themselves to you don’t belong in the rotation? Has Burnett? He hasn’t been that good lately.

          It’s really just a spurious argument. In general, starters should be starting and not relieving. For the playoffs, the equation changes a bit, but not that much.

          • alex gonzalez

            burnett can be lights out though. he has proven himself throughout his career. joba proven himself far better in the bullpen. what is phil’s career era as a starter? how about as a reliever? same with joba?

            • whozat

              Yes, if you take good starters and put them in the pen, they will probably dominate. BECAUSE RELIEVING IS EASIER AND LESS VALUABLE THAN STARTING.

              How’d Greg Maddux look his first couple years? Randy Johnson? Jon Lester?

              • alex gonzalez

                how about matt anderson, kyle peterson, jeff austin, etc…

                • whozat

                  Were these talented guys who broke in at a tender age, showed success in the bullpen due to their talent, but (unsurprisingly) struggled in their early attempts at starting in the bigs?

                  because they just look like some nobodies to me, which means you completely missed the point.

                • alex gonzalez

                  they were hyped starters who never developed into anything like johnson, lester or maddux. just because they struggle as a starter early on doesn’t mean they will pan out, even if they are really hyped. im worried about ruining joba as a starter so that he turns into one of austin, anderson or peterson.

                • whozat

                  And it looks to me like none of them put up the kind of results in the minors that Joba or Phil did.

                  Basically, this is the “other prospects have sucked, so ours are going to suck” argument with some new trappings.

                  The point to take away here, essentially, is that struggling as a starter in the bigs at age 23 is not particularly predictive of future performance. The fact that the players in question HAVE SHOWED the ability to get big-league hitters out at all should steel the Yankees’ resolve to keep them as starting pitchers.

                  You, on the other hand can’t wait for your burrito to get out of this microwave.

                • Zack

                  so with your philosphy if a young prospect doesnt dominate in his first few starts he should automatically be sent to the bullpen?
                  and Yankees should only trade/sign starters who are 29-30 to 100m deals?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  When I was younger, I was really good at pretending to be a fire engine.

                  Therefore, I should be a fire engine forever.

          • toad

            Alex is right. I mean, take a guy who is, say, 3-6 with 5.61 ERA at age 24. No chance of him being a successful starter.

            Try him in the pen and send him home if he’s no good there either.

        • jsbrendog

          so by this youre argument is that phil and joba have had enough chances/time to prove whether they can or can’t?

          really? i hope your kids/future kids get better odds at getting good grades…

        • whozat

          Bullshit.

          If every young pitcher who doesn’t dominate immediately is consigned to the pen, almost all pitchers would be relievers, with the exception of Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez.

          • Zack

            In their 2nd year as a full time starter:
            Verlander had a 4.84 era, 1.40 WHIP and .254 BAA
            Felix had a 4.52era, 1.34 WHIP and .262 BAA

            regression! go to the pen

    • A.D.

      But sometimes they do screw up, i.e. Phil last night, Joba in Cleveland.

      • alex gonzalez

        Joba didn’t screw up in the bullpen. joe should have taken the team off the field in cleveland.

        • whozat

          There were other times that Joba blew games. You just don’t remember them because they violate your preconceptions.

          Remember the game where he gave up the 3-run jack to lose the lead, and the opposing team was quoted as saying he was nothing special in the papers the next day?

          • alex gonzalez

            do you remember 2007? how good he was? he never blew a game in the playoffs that was his fault.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              he never blew a game in the playoffs that was his fault.

              He has two career postseason appearances.

              TWO.

            • whozat

              Yes, we all remember those magical 30 innings or whatever in 2007. We also remember that he wasn’t perfect. And we also remember that, even with his faults this season, by virtue of consuming so many innings, he’s been at least as valuable as he was in 2007, and probably a lot more.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          :: facepalm ::

    • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

      Both Joba and Hughes in the bullpen? Yikes.

      You’re kidding right?

      Guys, please tell me I’m missing the sarcasm here.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        The terriosts are winning again.

  • A.D.

    There’s actually the chance that depending on how quick the Yanks could win series they could actually go with 3 starters the entire postseason, and not start guys too many times on short rest:

    http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-567858

    • jsbrendog

      yeah if girardi was any good as a manager he would just tell his guys to sweep every series so they only need 3 pitchers. but he won’t.

      seriously though, i pray to mo they beat everyone handily

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        yeah if girardi was any good as a manager he would just tell his guys to sweep every series so they only need 3 pitchers. but he won’t.

        Burns: You there, Strawberry! Hit a home run.
        Strawberry: Sure thing, skip!
        [immediately hits a mammoth homer]
        Burns: See there? I told him to do that.

      • A.D.

        Yeah, it would be a lot easier watching whomever pitches a game 4 if there’s a 3-0 lead being it.

  • Kiersten

    How about we sweep the DS and then have CC go 3 games if needed in the CS and hope it’s not needed so that he can go 3 in the WS. No need for a 4th starter ever.

    /2001 Diamondback’d

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      We’re going to sweep the ALDS, ALCS, and WS in three games each.

      Game 4 of the ALCS and WS will be forfeits by the Angels and Cardinals.

      • Kiersten

        Red Sox and Cardinals.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Hah. That’s funny.

          The Red Sox in the ALCS… hilarious.

          • Kiersten

            Then Detroit. If the Yankees never play the Angels again it would be too soon.

          • Makavelli

            Unfortunately it just may be.

            They would seemingly play the Angels (like always)…only this time…their pitching is significantly worse than its ever been before. They’ll have their usual “bye” into the next round ala 2007 (after facing a broken down injury battered Angels team) and have their only tough series against the Yankees…fortunately during this chapter though…the Yankees sweep them in 4.

            • Kiersten

              This. The Yankees never beat the Angels, the Sox always do. So let them play them. The Sox don’t scare me for a second. They’re playing above their heads IMO. It works out perfectly.

              • Makavelli

                I don’t buy into what’s happened in the past all that much. Is it odd? Sure. But I don’t think it necessary means anything other than perhaps a small boost of confidence. The Angels beat us in the past with good pitching and slap hitting our bad pitching…the reason (other than 2002) they weren’t as successful against the Red Sox or White Sox is because they had good pitching that they couldn’t slap around.

                Right now the Angels has very good hitting…but not that great of pitching. The addition of Kazmir certainly helps them significantly though.

                The Red Sox, on the other hand, find ways to win. Their line up is talored to play at Fenway Park. Their OPS at home is .853 (before last nights game) and their OPS on the road is .751. That’s a SIGNIFICANT difference. They are also batting .254 as a team on the road, good for 10th in the AL. As a comparison, the Yankees are batting .285 as a team on the road…1st in the Majors.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Heh. You begin your statement with “I don’t buy into what’s happened in the past all that much”… and then proceed to bring up a bunch of old shit.

                  (Just ribbing ya a little.)

                • Makavelli

                  LOL. Well I don’t buy what has happened with teams filled with guys who aren’t on the team anymore.

                  The stats I provided are current with guys still on the team lol.

                  Even with that being said, we swept the Indians in the regular season series in 07′ and got crushed by them in the ALDS immediately in the playoffs…

                  …so I guess it’s all depends :/

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Very disappointing, Mak, you left out the best response!

                  ‘You’re reading too much into the words that I chose to put on the page.’

                  (I keed, I keed.)

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              The worm has turned.

              Kendry Morales and the Ghost of Vlad Guerrero will hit eleventy jillion homers against that Sox pitching staff.

              • Kiersten

                I just want to play the Sox. Of the 3 teams in playoff position right now, they definitely worry me the least. Of course, there will be no complaints from me if Texas surpasses them and we draw the Rangers in the DS.

    • Makavelli

      If anybody is interested…HBO On Demand has “9 Innings from Ground Zero” the documentary on how the Yankees lifted the spirits of New York during the 2001 playoffs…if only for a few days. It’s great.

      • Ace

        Thanks for the heads up. Such a shame to lose that series.

  • misterd

    I’d go with the shorter schedule. We have a deeper team, deeper bullpen, than whomever we play, so why give our opponents a chance to rest?

    • Makavelli

      What’s funny about this rule is…we won the division and had the best record in baseball a slew of times over the 9 years we won the division…no rules were made in our favor. The Red Sox win the division ONCE in 2007 and they create a rule for them to take advantage of.

      Add that with the strange “coincidence” that news broke of Paul Byrd using steroids the morning of his ALCS start against the Red Sox (who were on the ropes) and you have a nice conspiracy theory…

      • Former RAB Lurker

        When was that rule enacted? That is, was it enacted before the season or before the playoffs?

    • Ace

      I agree. If our best starters cant beat their best starters then wee shouldn’t be paying them billions of dollars and we don’t deserve to win.

      • Makavelli

        If the scheduling option was meaningless then it wouldn’t exist.

        • Ace

          I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure it was created to optimize television ratings. Either way our top-flight, top-paid pitchers should be able to beat anyone. Especially with our ridiculous lineup behind them and a solid pen supporting them.

          Again, if we can’t beat their best then we don’t belong in the next round.

  • Raf

    what happens if the Rangers somehow come back and take the WC? same conclusions as above? if Joba returns to form you definitely throw him against the Rangers i think.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Same conclusions as above.

      Joba the 4th starter >>>>> every other team’s 4th starter

      • Ace

        I don’t think you can say Joba is >>>>>>>>>> than Dice-K if he is healthy. I’m not saying Dice-K is some amazing pitcher. But as a 4th starter he equals or is greater than Joba.

        • Ace

          Ditto Ervin Santana

        • Kiersten

          Dice-K has started 8 games this season. I don’t really think you can count on him starting in the playoffs, let alone being better than Joba.

          • Ace

            “if he is healthy”

            PS Add Jonathan Sanchez to the list too. (Unless only AL teams are being discussed) He has been lights out since the all-star break. 3.16 era and 75k in 59.2 innings

            • Kiersten

              Yes, I can read. But the chances of him being healthy and pitching well in 2009 are slim.

              • Ace

                :-)

                This is true.

        • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

          Junichi Tazawa > CC Sabathia

    • Makavelli

      Why would you change your approach? Texas and the Yankees both have a .279 BA at their respective homes. The difference? Texas is 11th (1 behind Boston) in BA on the road (.245).

      I don’t know why you would change your approach to have Joba pitch on the road against Texas IN Arlington…

      If I were to have anyone pitch in Arlington it would probably be Hughes…that guy DOMINATES that place…

    • Kiersten

      I think if we play the Rangers, there’s a damn good chance we sweep. Detroit, not as much (definitely possible, but not as likely IMO).

  • danthrax

    what makes you think that first series is going more than 3 games? :P

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Exactly.

      Three straight three game sweeps. Nine wins, kiss the baby.

      • Makavelli

        The 1998 team even lost TWO games! And they’re statistically the greatest team to ever live.

        1998 Yankees : MLB History :: Axavelli : RAB

        lol

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I just vomited in my mouth a little bit.

          • Makavelli

            LOL. I knew you’d like that one, Raul.

            It’s all in good fun.

      • Ed

        Sweeping the Sox or Angles in the playoffs, NO WAY that happens, both those teams are just as good as the Yankees, and both historically beat the Yankees easily in the playoffs. The yanks are on a great run right now but many of their wins (including last nights) are being aided by a small ballpark that inflates their HR numbers. Come playoff time very few teams win it all with only the longball.

        Also their starters are not the strength some think they will be. Personally I only trust Sabathia. Pettitte will probably give a gutty start but he is always one little injury away from ineffectiveness. Burnett has never been in the playoffs, and been bad lately. And Joba…well he’s busy throwing 3 innings a clip right now so to expect him to be a dominate starter in the playoffs is totally unrealistic, expecting him to be serviceable is a stretch. And hoping the bullpen saves him is fine if the first three starters go 7+ innings, but that probably wont happen.

        But no matter what happens we can rest assured that not one critical word will ever be posted on this website about the yanks…they can do no wrong!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          But no matter what happens we can rest assured that not one critical word will ever be posted on this website about the yanks…they can do no wrong!

          Ed: 1
          Strawman: 0

          • jsbrendog

            yeah they post critical stuff all the time, but it is the educated inquisitive type of critical because of their rationality and educations.

            • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

              Examples:

              Andy Pettitte
              Melky
              Joba
              The Swisher Bunt

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “But no matter what happens we can rest assured that not one critical word will ever be posted on this website about the yanks…they can do no wrong!”

          This must be your first time visiting RAB, in which case you are forgiven.

          http://www.adamriff.com/images/facepalm.gif

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            You’re too nice, Mondesi. (Dare I say… jolly?)

            NO COMMERCIALS, NO MERCY!!!!!!!!

          • jsbrendog

            you forgot OAKTAG too.

            and maybe for old times sake:

            ……………………………………..________……………………
            ………………………………,.-‘”……………….“~.,………………
            ………………………..,.-”……………………………..“-.,…………
            …………………….,/………………………………………..”:,……..
            …………………,?………………………………………………\,…..
            ………………./…………………………………………………..,}….
            ……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}….
            ……………/……………………………………………,:”………/…..
            …………..?…..__…………………………………..:`………../…..
            …………./__.(…..“~-,_…………………………,:`………./……..
            ………../(_….”~,_……..“~,_………………..,:`…….._/………..
            ……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….“-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}………..
            ………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……“;,,./`…./”…………../…………
            …,,,___.\`~,……“~.,………………..`…..}…………../………….
            …………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”……………
            …………/.`~,……`-………………………….\……/\……………….
            ………….\`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..\,__………..
            ,,_……….}.>-._\……………………………..|…………..`=~-,….
            …..`=~-,_\_……`\,……………………………\……………………
            ……………….`=~-,,.\,………………………….\…………………..
            …………………………..`:,,………………………`\…………..__..
            ……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“…….
            …………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\……………
            ……………………………..,<`.._|_,-&“…………….`\…………..

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          But no matter what happens we can rest assured that not one critical word will ever be posted on this website about the yanks…they can do no wrong!

          You’re right. We’ve never criticized the Yanks for any of their moves. We’ve never bashed them for giving Melky 500+ PAs year after year or keeping Phil Hughes out of the rotation or mishandling Joba or the new Stadium and the Bronx parkland or the firing of Joe Torre. Nope. Nothing to see here. It’s all wine and roses.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Admit it, Kabak: You’re just a mouthpiece of the Yankees PR department. That’s why you’re part of the YES Network® Blogging Network™.

            You’re like the Heyman to Lonn Trost’s Boras. You cheap pimp, you.

            Ben Kabak = Phillip Tattaglia

        • Kiersten

          But no matter what happens we can rest assured that not one critical word will ever be posted on this website about the yanks…they can do no wrong!

          A) You obviously don’t read here much.
          B) We are, you know, Yankee fans.

    • Januz

      If they play Detroit, it will go 4 or 5 (Verlander is more than capable of beating the Yankees). Anaheim really scares me, this is a better team than the Yankees (Except for the bullpen of course). Abreu, Vlad, Morales, Hunter, Rivera are outstanding and they have the Yankees number. I hate to say it, but I actually think Boston gives the Yankees the best chance of making the series. If Boston wins then Yankees over Phillies.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Anaheim really scares me, this is a better team than the Yankees (Except for the bullpen of course).

        Hmm… no.

        • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

          Anaheim is a better team than the Yankees

          Except for:

          The lineup
          The starting pitching
          The bullpen

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Their starting pitching isn’t all that strong.

        • Januz

          Their starting pitching is outstanding: Lackey, Kazmir, Santana and Weaver might be the best quartet in the AL. Their bullpen is very weak (Except Fuentes), and their lineup is VERY good. They remind me of the Cardinals (Pitching, lineup, great manager, questionable bullpen).

          • Makavelli

            The Angels are 10th in the AL with a 4.70 ERA amongst their starters. Their bullpen ERA is 11th with a lesser 4.60 ERA.

            These, of course, are numbers without Kazmir.

          • Tom Zig

            Fuentes is meh

            • miketotheg

              I agree. fuentes is most definitely meh. he’s been screwing with my fantasy baseball era for ages. but at least i made the playoffs. whoo hoo!

  • Dave M

    I hate to use the word “if”. But if we had a healthy Wang and Joba didn’t have this innings limit, I think this years team just might be on par with the 1998 team.

    • DreDog

      You saying their is something wrong with my f*ckstick?

      /Billy Bob’d

  • Ed in SF

    Hey Kabek – on top of your mea culpa to Heyman, how about a hat tip for the RAB reader who pointed out the fact that the Yankees may get to choose series A vs B (and therefore get to use 3 starters on regular rest in the ALDS?)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Word to the wise: Your chances of getting a hat tip probably decrease monumentally when you misspell the guy’s name.

      I’m just saying.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        This.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          You’ll rue the day you crossed me, Kabek.

          • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

            Damn what a hard last name to spell.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        … And… That conversation has happened here before yesterday. It was a good conversation and your comments were a good part of it, but it’s not like you were the first person to ever realize and comment on the fact that there are different ALDS schedules and that the Yankees could go with 3 starters if they choose the longer series.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          “It was a good conversation and your comments were a good part of it, but it’s not like you were the first person to ever realize and comment on the fact that there are different ALDS schedules and that the Yankees could go with 3 starters if they choose the longer series.”

          No way…

          WE LANDED ON THE MOON!!!!!!!

          • Makavelli

            Gas man. How the hell did they know that I got gas?

        • Ed in SF

          And yet “Kabek” still managed to post an entry yesterday that revealed he had no idea that was the case. Whateva – you get what you pay for, I guess…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            Thanks for playing Let’s Be A Douche.

            • jsbrendog

              tell him what he’s won….

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            No, Ed. What I wrote about was a suggestion by Rob Neyer, regardless of the playoff schedule, to flip the roles of Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain in the playoffs. I included a throwaway line from a Jon Heyman tweet and have since clarified Heyman’s reporting. I also hat-tipped the first place I read to talk about it: Kepner’s post.

            As shocking as this might sound, I don’t read all 1500 comments RAB gets every day. You left your comment while I was in class. After that, I went to the game. After that, I came home and wrote this post.

            There’s really no need for you to be so nasty about it.

            • Ed in SF

              You’re right. Apologies for the negativity!

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  • miketotheg

    I swear i have been having this same discussion for the past few days.

    For my money, this year, right now, Joba is an extra part. CC is going to throw on short rest in the alds and Job wont throw a pitch till the ALCS.

    Is he going to start? OY VEY. At least we have aceves.

    I wonder which burnett will show up at the playoffs? no hitter burnett or “screw you jorge i wanna throw my hook” burnett.

  • mryankee

    I think if its Detroit you have to avoid Verlander and Jackson 4 out of five games. I know the homers will blast for me for having the gall to say the Tigers have a shot here but the reality is there front two are really good. I think CC is adecent matchup against Verlander and good AJ mathches up well with Edwin Jackson. However if Joba has to make a start then he really needs to pick it up the Tigers offens though not nearly the Yankees quality, can throw some bats at you. Granderson, Polanco, Huff, Cabrera and Carlos Guillen.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Verlander : mryankee :: Burnett : Mike Pop

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3DXyfL3HX0 (safe)

      • mryankee

        no idea what that means I only bring verlander up because he is the ace pitcher on the team we would be facing in round one. To make you happy though I will say he sucks cannot win and will choke. NOW I am in line with most of the people in here. I mean verlander and Jackson are jokes since AJ has been so consistent, there is nothing to discuss-when you shutdown a lineup without Zobrist-Crawford-Bartlett and thats the best start in a month or so from your #2 starter then all is well. So much for objective discussion.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          You’ve set up yet another strawman, mr yankee. All you do is complain about the Yankees shortcomings. We’re sick of it. They don’t have the best record in baseball for no reason.

          Instead of bitching about the Yanks, why don’t you go learn something about other teams?

          • mryankee

            I am not at all bitching I am being realistic. I was the first one after Joba pitched well against Tampa Bay to say how wrong I was about him. I always say how much I want the Yankees to win all I am doing is trying to be objective. I have said time and time again that the Yankees are superior to Detroit but I am saying detroit has two very good starting pitchers and that is sometning of a concern.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              Yes, it is a concern. We all know this. But you go around talking like it’s a foregone conclusion that the Tigers will take out the Yanks in the first round. That’s what’s annoying.

              In other words, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it and the frequency with which you say it.

              Also, Jackson has had a ho-hum second half. Please remember that.

            • Bo

              how does Joba factor into this at all if you’re talking about how great Verlander is?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          There’s nothing wrong with objective discussion.

          I was just commenting on your gigantic mancrush on Justin Verlander.

          I like him too, he’s a great pitcher. Yes, he’s capable of beating any team on any day, including ours. You just don’t need to bring him up at every single instance on every single comment. I’ve heard nothing but Verlander, Verlander, Verlander from you for months.

          • mryankee

            For that I apologize I think its because I see detroit as our first round opponent. I also think I saw him and Joba’s careeers and possible stuff as being comprable.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            Did you know that Edwin Jackson was born in West Germany? How weird is it to say that?

            • mryankee

              Fair enough I can cool off on detroit-I think fr me in the past I have been overconfident that the Yankees being the better team would beat thir first round opponent. This year I was trying to be more wary of who we are facing. Yes I agree with everyone-the yanks are much better overall and all things being equal they should win the series.

  • Bo

    Not much of a choice.

    Verlander Jackson twice or Porcello Washburn

  • Arliss

    Ben – you noted that in series A, the yanks would have to burn their top two starters at the end of the series. While I agree with that, it really doesnt matter in the scheme of things because here is what will happen in the ALCS:

    8 day series: we pitch CC, Andy, AJ in Games 1,2 and 3…..with CC in Game 4 and Andy in Game 5.

    This leaves AJ to start game 1 of an ALCS and CC to start Game 2 on regular rest. Andy would start game 3 on regular rest. Game 4 would go to Joba/Gaudin. If it goes 7 games, Pettitte pitches Game 7 after AJ and CC throw games 5 and 6.

    Then there are 2 off days before the WS starts anyway so your Game 5 ALCS starter is going on an extra days rest to start the WS.

    Obviously, Andy/AJ can be flip flopped, but I chose to go this way because Andy in Game 5 of the ALDS makes me more comfortable.

  • Arliss

    4 IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K vs Boston
    6 IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K vs KC
    6 IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 5K vs Oakland
    6.1 IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 3K vs Anaheim
    5 IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 6K vs Cleveland
    8 IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K vs Tampa

    This guy doesnt scare me. Jackson – last 6 starts.

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